Lemmon’s Needle Grass

Scientific name

Achnatherum Lemmonii


Lemmon's Needle Grass is a hardy perennial bunchgrass that grows in dense clumps reaching between 0.2-0.8m tall. The leaf blades are blueish-green in colour and are flat or rolled inward, while the seed heads are spiky and have long awns (hairs) which is where the name 'needlegrass' comes from. It is extremely drought tolerant and can thrive in nutrient-poor environments. Lemmon's needlegrass also has deep fibrous root systems that can establish easily in shallow rocky areas and in meadows. The seeds of this plant are an important source of nutrition for many species of bird, and they are larval host plants for some butterfly species.

Planting conditions

Lemmon's needlegrass grows best with full sun exposure. It thrives in dry, coarse/medium textured, well-draining, acidic soils, but it is very tolerant of a wide variety of conditions. Lemmon's needlegrass can often be found on hot, dry, sunny, south-facing sloped areas, such as grasslands, savannas, and upland prairies.


  • Plant height:
    • Max 1.5m
  • Moisture level:
    • Dry
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Rocky
  • pH:
    • Acidic
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Potted
  • Eco Zone:
    • 4a
    • 4b
    • 5a
    • 5b
    • 6a
    • 6b
    • 7a
    • 7b
    • 8a
    • 8b
    • 9a
  • Plant type:
    • Ground Cover
  • Height:
    • 80cm
  • Spread:
    • 1m